Our Eco Approach At Acorn, one of the four levels of change within our social impact model focuses on engaging children with nature and this is the widest expression of our relational pedagogy. Developing this connection involves surrounding children with nature as much as possible, whether that is through free-flow access to garden areas, regular outdoor walks and trips in all seasons and types of weather (including forest school sessions) and the use of natural materials for play. In doing so, children also enjoy the holistic benefits that the natural environment has to offer. Examples of connection and engagement with nature: We then extend this connection by ensuring children are provided with opportunities that help them to develop an ethic of care and respect towards the environment. Examples of developing an ethic of care & respect: Building further on children’s connection, care and respect for the environment, we help to inspire action towards sustainability, amongst the children, our staff teams and our families too! To ensure that sustainable practises are consolidated and forever growing and developing within our educational approach, we have eco-leads at our nurseries who form a part of Acorn’s eco-committee. The group regularly connect and exchange ideas of best practices. Many of our nurseries are also signed up to Eco-Schools. This is a programme that inspires our practitioners to empower and engage young people in important environmental issues, teaching great responsibility, generating a sense of community, as well as providing the skills and knowledge young people need to play an active role in protecting our environment now and throughout our lifetimes. In 2023, 10 of our nurseries achieved the Eco-Schools Green Flag Award, which is an international accreditation recognising young people’s environmental actions! Feedback from Eco-Schools: Click here to watch Sharnbrook's mention in the Eco-Schools Awards ceremony (video section 22:08 – 23:33). Click here to read Sharnbrook being mentioned in the official Eco-Schools Impact Report 2021/22 (page 34-35).